It is the day after Election Day and Calgary has a new Mayor. He was called the dark horse, a distant third in a battle of 15 candidates. No previous political experience, only business and life experience. He won the respect of the hipsters, the young voters plus others and in the end he won the race.
Meet Naheed Nanshi:
It was wonderful to see Calgary passionate about something other than hockey, Stampede or the H1N1 influenza vaccine clinics. Calgary was passionate about Calgary. The election broke city records with 53.24% eligible voter turn out, killing the previous record from 1989 of 47%. Voting stations ran out of ballots and had to have more couriered for other places. There were chalk drawings on the ground for one candidate and happy volunteers marching down the side walks holding signs for another candidate. People were honking, waving and happy to be having an election (that is until you got into line, the voting stations were not organized for such a voting participation).
Now, as a city, it will be interesting to see what we have chosen. I admit, I didn't vote for Nenshi. I started out being a supporter but over time and through my research I found that another candidate grew on me. Up until the last hour before I went to cast my vote I was undecided. It came down to "If my vote was the deciding vote, who would I want to choose..."
And that is how I came up with my final decision.
Nenshi has many promises and ideas of how to build on the city and make it better. I am curious to see where this takes us. Really, I'm just happy that half the city came out to vote. And happy that we busted out of our Cow-Town stereotype... at least for a while.